Friday was too long of a wait for me to take the exam. I decided to reschdule it sooner and walked out of the test center CCNA Security certified. I tested on the 640-554 v2.0 topics.
The exam itself was good. There weren’t any “gotchas”. Questions were fair and exactly what I studied for. My recommendation would be to stick to the blueprint. Make sure you can do exactly what is on there.
The blueprint seems vague with bullet points such as “Describe common security threats”. I felt the CCNA Security 640-554 Official Certification Guide provided most of what I needed to meet the objectives.
Overall, the material for CCNA Security was good knowledge for me. While there is information you can use in any environment, a big chunk of it was specific to Cisco. I’m talking about using Cisco Configuration Professional, or CCP.
I can’t say that I’ll use CCP, ever, but it’s good to know your way around CCP for the exam.
Midway through the exam I started feeling nervous, thinking I may have answered too many questions incorrectly. I even thought about a previous question I thought I marked incorrectly.
It’s important to think about the current question on the screen once you’ve clicked on Next. One of my goals for this exam was to carefully read each question. I’ve been burned in the past by misinterpreting a question. The wording can get you and it will cost you. Take your time and read through the questions.
I arrived at least 20 minutes early to the testing center. The process to get fully signed in and ready to go took quite a while. There were also many others taking exams so I had to wait a few minutes.
Without breaking NDA, no individual topic from the blueprint stuck out the most. The most important take away is to have the confidence to answer “yes” to each topic. Grab a copy of the portable command guide and try to do as many labs as you can to burn in the menu items of CCP into your brain. The portable command guide is a great resource containing just the bare bones commands and GUI process.
Maybe I’ll take a short break before stepping into the next certification. Wireless anyone?